Brief Write of a Brief Flight – Wake

Steam holiday sales… a series of words which are a bane for all bank accounts. Wake was not a game I bought during these sales, but rather one that I hadn’t been motivated to play until I wanted to collect some Steam Trading Cards. It’s not often I can say that I really did not like a game… at all.

Wake is produced by British studio, Boss Baddie, the same people who produced Lunnye Devitsy. Both games employ a retro, pixel graphic, 18-bit sounding theme that has subsequently been submerged in Vaseline. Make sure you’re wearing your glasses for these games.

I knew I would have problems with Wake when I struggled to figure out keyboard controls on the menu screen as it doesn’t use a mouse at all. After plugging in my spare controller, the menu was easy enough to navigate, despite having a 10 second transition between menus. The game is very simple. You are on a sinking ship, sinking because it has been struck by meteors… or asteroids… you’re not quite sure.  You have to make your way upwards to escape… I think. Nothing is really explained asides from the controls and things you can collect.

Wake is a 2D platformer with 4 controls other than movements. Run, jump, interact and map. As you progress, the water keeps rising. The controls are very awkward as you need to use both run and climb simultaneously to be able to climb… something I still wasn’t exactly sure how to work by the end. It got to one point where I was almost at the top (through one of the funnels) where there was one little bit of platforming I couldn’t do. I tried for 20 minutes before I spat the dummy. At this point I sat back and reviewed what I had done. I had swam, jumped, ran and moved through fire (ignoring the flames), always assuming I had to move up. Everyone now and then a little box appeared with dialogue. I’m not even sure if I was speaking or if I was overhearing other people who seemed non-existent. I collected stuff, stuff being the only name I have for it as sometimes it gave me health and sometimes not. Two cream-coloured blocks doesn’t constitute as a collectable!

There was an axe at some point, though it looked more like a penis with red balls. While I don’t mind pixel graphics, I think in a world of digital artists, graphic designers and modern technology, games should have so much more. That being said, if a game is going to use pixelated, 1990’s graphics, then it better be a good game, otherwise it comes off as pretentious and… well, crap.

Wake is currently available on Steam for $4.99 and Desura for $3.99.


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